Tag Archives: Games (for learning)


Grandma P arrived today to spend 14 days with us.  Grant Pat and Pa Pa arrive late tomorrow night, but the boys think they arrive Thursday morning.

We have a new tubbie time game.  Little Brother is finally ‘tuning in’ to interactive games, he is 3 now and playing games with me Big Brother engaged in at 18 months.  Different kids.  We now, nightly, play “Show Me…”. Version one:  I hold 2 different toys (like a blue cup and a red triangle stacking cup) and ask “Show me the RED” or “Show me the CIRCLE”.  We do colors, shapes and sizes.  Big Brother races to grab the right answer, and I try to explain to him to let Little have a chance.  Big insists “I am helping him, you help me” and I have yet to get him to see the difference in DOING and HELPING.  Nevertheless Little gets caught up in it and tries to race Big Brother and they both have fun.  To be honest Little doesn’t get many of them correct, even given the opportunity, but his score is improving and now that he is interested in engaging with us in such a way he’ll get there.  The other version of the game is for me to put out my hands and say “give me BLUE” or “give me BIG” and if I get the wrong thing, and Big Brother delights in intentionally giving the wrong object, I drop it and say “noooo that is ____ SILLY” and both giggle about that.  In that version of the game, since Big is so intent on getting the ‘wrong’ reaction Little does get a chance to get the right object more often.  It is just a new thing, and quite a wonderful thing, to have Little so engaged, watching me, getting excited about a “GOOD JOB, that is RIGHT” and giggling about a “nooooo” .

Little Brother is working on mastering his phonic sounds and has recently tuned in to letter in his world.  He turned 3 only a month ago; Big didn’t really start to demonstrate a connection between specific letters and their sound till 4.5 or later.  Again, different kids.  The Boys watch Letter factory (by Leap Frog) and word Factory in the van a good amount.  Recently he has started bring me letter magnets off the gun safe and making the correct sound.  The boy has about 3 words and communicates mostly in screech but he can correctly produce a K, R, S, T, C, Z and H sound (heard them all today); and maybe others.  The letters he can’t make the sound for he still brings to me, to have named, then giggles and run back for another.  Also, we have a set of phonics flash cars, we’ve had for a long time, and Little Brother loves them.  He flips though them, he leaves them all over the house for Momma to pick up, he carries them to me and once in a while if I ask for a specific letter he can go find it (and he usually enjoys trying even if he is not correct).  He is constantly pointing out letters (in books, and on my sweatshirts) and demanding they be named, over and over and over again.  I am really interested to see what his skills look like when he master speech better, that is going to be really exciting.

Daddy and Big Brother did a science “lab” and lesson on electricity today.  They discussed amps vs ohms.  They discussed that electricity will be conducted by metal but not wood or plastic.  Then they got to use Daddy’s amp / ohm meter.  Daddy used a small stretch of copper wire to show how wire works; then they made predictions about things (the table, the tool bag, the screwdriver, etc) and then tested them.  By the second or third “trial” Big Brother was nailing each prediction on the head.  Afterwards, Big Brother was frustrated not to be allowed to romp the house “testing” things with the house.  Daddy covered safety, and how much stronger house hold current is that the 9 volt battery they were learning with, and afterwards Big Brother was able to tell me that electricity is dangerous and can make you have to go to the hospital and stay there.  He was also able to tell me it does not go though plastic or wood only metal and even showed me the difference in the rubber/ plastic handle of the screwdriver and the metal end of it.

Big Brother has been trying to sound out words a lot.  He has the concept – sounding out each letter – but not the “end” of the sounds becoming a word.  He so wants to read, he will “sound out” BATMAN on his coloring book and read it to me.  So today I pulled out HOP ON POP to give him some easy practice.  He sounded out the first 6 pages; and pointed out all the rhymes to me and told me “they rhyme because they end the same”.  We stopped as soon as he asked to, and I read to him for a while.  This is certainly his thing, all I am here for is to facilitate and try to offer things to allow him to be success (like Hop on Pop and very basic and easy book).  I do not think the switch has flipped for him yet, but he so wants it to, and he tries.  Soon, very soon, I am going to have a reader.


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Today is day 6 of the Pray For Your Husband for 30 days Challenge.   Today’s challenge:

Day Six:
“…whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31b

Do you recognize and appreciate your husband’s creativity? Or do you criticize and demean his efforts? Instead of negativity, determine to be positive. Perhaps you can help your husband see that his efforts are an opportunity to glorify God.

Is your husband the “creative” type? Does he have any artistic gifts? What is that special “knack” he has? Affirm him for his handiwork – a hobby, music, gardening, tinkering with cars, working with wood, etc. Remember: Even if he doesn’t measure up to your standards, praise his efforts. If your budget allows, buy him a book or magazine that will continue to encourage his special skill or talent.

If you have a hard time finding his “creative side,” understand that men’s creativity sometimes is related to their work. Find something he does to make his job run more smoothly or something he does that adds value to his work…and let him know that you have noticed.

Make his day…Praise his accomplishments in public, while he is listening.

That is EASY.  Hubby built most of our house.  We built our house; we had sub-contractors do some basics (stand walls, drywall, rough plumb, roof, etc) but most of it we did.  I should say Hubby did.  ALL THE TILE in the house, doors, windows, light fixtures and so on – so every photos that you see on this blog of the house, Daddy did.  Hubby did it all:  ALL the landscaping, the patio, the retaining walls, all the trees, all of it. 

The boys had a good day.  Some reading (Dr Seuss and George); played CandyLand to practice skills.  Built robots and played “the Butter Battle Book.  Got a little outside time before the wind began to bother Little Brother’s ears; gathered up a bunch of stuff that blew off in all the wind.   

Then the boys got to go to a play date at McDonald’s play place, this was a real treat.  To be there with other kids to play with, and kids that would play with them and kids that understood Big Brother.  It was great.  Nothing like a couple of hours with good friends.  The mommas had a nice time too – nice to be in a contained setting so we can talk more and chase less.    Our family is truly blessed to have such a dear family as friends; it is so free and easy to hang out, and with Big Brother I (we) don’t always get to have easy peaceful and fun times like that. 


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Today is day 3 of the Pray For Your Husband for 30 days Challenge.   Today’s challenge:

“…love suffers long, and is kind…” 1 Cor. 13:4
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Phil. 4:19 Love indeed suffers long and is kind. As you consider your Encouragement Challenge, determine today that you will not say anything negative to or about your husband. Speak kindly to him with words of genuine encouragement.

I found a great new site – it is totally COOL:  http://www.famoushomeschoolers.net/educators.html

 Mount Rushmore, the world’s largest stone monument, is a tribute to four Presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
Do you know what else each of these men have in common? As children, none of them had any regular, formal schooling. They were all self-educated or taught at home!

 Homeschooling is defined as the education of children at home rather than at any school or institution. Homeschooling is a modern term but it is a form of education that has been around for centuries. In fact, until the mid-19th century, most children in America were educated at home. This was before the push for development of public schools began in the 1830s-1840s.

I am having a blast, and spending too much time, reading the lists of authors, educators and leaders; this all ties back to my post on Classical Education  and the fact that until very recently home education vas the norm and the standards of public education have never been as high as the achievements of the previous generations taught at home. 


Big Brother had his first ever eye appt today.  This was on the recommendation of the OT evaluation.  The appointment was not BAD, but I felt like I had been wrestling a jellyfish after it was over.  we got in the exam room fast and the tech that did all the first stuff did a great job with Big Brother even making him a cheat sheet of the numerals up to 15 so he could point to the answer rather than have to say it after I explained that Big Brother is not so reliable at numeral recognition (he could have done letters).  Sitting in a room full of cool machines, lights, buttons and things that move is hard on any boy, especially an almost 5 yo one.  We were kept waiting in the exam room too long.  Way too long.  Most of his “being cooperative time” was spent sitting around waiting.  That really really bothers me.  This was a PEDATRATIC Optometrists.  Recommended to work with a young child; in fact, suggest BY NAME to see a child that has extra needs beyond the age-typical ones.  If you are a professional that deals with children ALL THE TIME, you should be able to plan to be on time and not keep little ones waiting like that.  My son is not the best waiter, but he is not the worst.  He is not even 5 yet.  They should plan better; they would have happier more cooperative children to work with if they did.  Not like he was the only child there; it is a child’s practice, it really annoys me when places that are supposedly “for children” can not be bothered to be child friendly.  The last part of the appt I held him in my lap, but the arms were constantly reaching for stuff and he would glace at the doctor, do one “game” then try to get down asking to see something else.  During the ‘just vision test’ I was amazed at the small icons he could identify at a distance, minus my glasses I would not have done as well.  The results:  all the things the OT was concerned about she DID see, but he has the ABLITY what he is lacking is ‘endurance;’ or ‘good control’.  So the OT concerns are there, but they are use issues not medical or physical ability issues.  Kind of like the fine motor stuff, his control and use and ‘lasting ability’ is well behind where he is age-wise.  This should not be too big a surprise; his speech is behind, his fine motor is behind, his sleep patterns have been that of a much younger child for a long time (about ‘age correct’ now, finally) and so on.  The Dev Ped we saw 18 months ago said that he is just “brain’ behind; like a pre-mee or something.  That seems to still be the case.  For example:  he can track a moving object without moving his head; he just can’t stay on task very long and will move his entire head to ‘cheat’ if he can; he has the physical ability, just not the skill to use it very long.  This is true of all the OT concerns.  So there are no physical issues, no medical issues, it is all use and application (again).  He is somewhat far sighted, but that is 100% age typical due to size / growth of the eyes and head.  It should self correct.  He DOES of the congenital cataracts that I (and the entire paternal side of my family) has / had – I have had lens replacements so I don’t, technically have them any more.  I was 97% expecting that, I had them; dad had them, my aunt, their dad and so on back in time; so I had no expectation that my boys would “miss” them.  I am not that upset; the advancement in corrective measures have been amazing; the difference in what the medical profession can and will do now as opposed to when I was Big Brother’s age is STUNNING, I am confident by the time he is 10 or 15 or 20 the advancements will even more stunning.  There are many other issues that I would worry much more about, him (or them actually) getting my eyes, is the least of my concerns.  The cataracts are “small and slight” and not effecting his vision at this point in time.  Nothing in today’s evaluation needs to be addressed by her professionally.  She will write it all up for the OT and advise on exercised and “activities” she is going to forward me a full copy of that report.  He does not need vision correction at this point and he is healthy and sees fine.  Great appointment; but totally physically and mentally draining for Momma


This afternoon called for a trip to the park.  55 degrees and SUNNY on Nov 3 is a great fall day.  Only stayed about 30 minutes due to the wind; but they boys got sunshine and to stretch their legs.

Once home we played CandyLand.  Big Brother is “all about” getting to play.  He carries it around and presents it to me at the oddest times, like as I am helping them strip for tubbie.  Today we played.  I told Big Brother he had to follow the rules, or I was putting it up and not playing.  He did a great job.  Only once did I have to suggest putting the game up; but only once.  Little Brother started the game with us, all excited, and got up to turn 3.  He carefully took cards for each turn and carefully moved his plastic person; 2 of the 3 turns he was able to “do it alone” (that is find the next correct color).  Then he wandered off.  It took a lot of “ok Big your turn, what is on your card, where is that, move you piece …ok my turn, let’s see what I got, ok I moving …” and so on to keep the game on track, but Big Brother did better than any other time we have tired to play.  But not a “game” for “fun” for momma really – :).  I am glad to see his ability to play improving.


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